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Falling Waters State Park

Falling Waters is a 171-acre state park in Washington County south of Chipley.  The park lies on limestone, which has been eroded away forming a number of sinkholes.  A small spring-fed creek flows into one of these sinkholes, creating Falling Waters Sink, the highest waterfall in Florida at 72 feet.  Besides the waterfall, the park has a couple short hiking trails, a man-made 2-acre lake for swimming, picnic shelters and a campground.

Archaeological digs have uncovered artifacts from Native Americans dating back more than 1000 years.  Researchers suspect the Native Americans were drawn to the area for the same reason as tourists today - to see the beautiful waterfall.  The park is also home to one of the first oil wells drilled in Florida that is now capped.  The area became a state park in 1962.

Contact Information:

1130 State Park Road
Chipley, FL 32428

Phone: (850) 638-6130

Directions:

Falling Waters State Park is located south of Chipley in the central panhandle.  From exit 120 on I-10 go south on FL-77 for about a mile and turn left on State Park Road.  Drive 1.7 miles to the park entrance.

Map:

Points of Interest:

Falling Waters Sink:

Falling Waters Sink is the highest waterfall in Florida at 72 feet.  A small spring-fed creek drops into the sinkhole and disappears underground into a cave.  Where exactly the water goes is not known.  It's just a short hike on the concrete walkway from the main parking area to the waterfall.  Steps descend a short ways into the sinkhole to an observation deck.

Here's a picture looking down into the sinkhole.

Oil Well:

The park is home to one of the first oil wells drilled in Florida.  Speculators believed there was oil beneath the ground here and began drilling in 1919.  They drilled to a total depth of 4912 feet, but were never able to produce a commercial amount of oil.  The well was capped in 1921.

Wildlife:

Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) with a candle growing from the top.  This white tip popping out of the top of the tree indicates it is leaving the grassy stage and will start a growth spurt.

Mountain Azalea (Rhododendron canescens) are a beautiful species of rhododendron.

Blog Entries:

06-Mar-2018: Geological Wonders of Florida

External Links:

Florida State Parks website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Falling-Waters